May I firstly take this opportunity to thank you for your support and kind words at the start of this new term. It has been a real pleasure to see the students returning and handling the changes and new procedures with such maturity and positivity. They have adapted incredibly well and we are extremely proud of them.
I am also very pleased to inform you that the 6th form student I wrote to you about last week has returned a NEGATIVE test result and has been given the all-clear to return to school. Since last week the Public Health England guidance has changed and we will now only write to parents in the event of a confirmed case. Should your child or a member of your household develop symptoms, you must all isolate and the person with symptoms must be tested. I have included more details about testing later in this update.
Update on face-coverings and a move to compulsory use in communal areas:
Following the launch of the government’s new ‘Hands-Face-Space’ campaign, we have made the decision to move from strongly recommending the use of face-coverings in corridors, serveries and communal areas to making them compulsory for all staff and students (except those who qualify for exemptions) in these spaces from Wednesday 16th September. A face-covering can include a face-mask, scarf or buff. Students who meet the exemption criteria should carry an exemption card or lanyard which can be obtained from their Head of Year.
In classrooms, whilst we encourage face-coverings to be worn wherever possible, we are still leaving it up to the teacher’s discretion depending on the learning environment, space available, activities taking place and other individual factors at this time.
A table below outlines when and where they should be worn:
|Before leaving outside social areas on the way to class.||In classrooms||When doing sport/physical activity|
|In the canteen servery|
|When queuing or lining up anywhere in school|
|On school transport|
|In communal areas|
|When requested to do so by a classroom teacher|
All students and staff should bring at least one clean face-covering along with a plastic or plastic-alternative bag to keep it clean when not being worn. A zip-lock freezer bag is ideal. It should be easily accessible in a pocket or front of their bag. As an eco-school we are discouraging the use of disposable face-masks. Washable, reusable face –coverings will shortly be available for purchase for £1.10 from our College shop.
I would encourage parents to watch the following videos with their child:
For further information on how to make a face covering:
The increased use of face-coverings does not mean that our existing and extensive protection measures will be reduced. Socially distancing, hand & respiratory hygiene and regular cleaning continue to be of utmost importance.
Updated Advice on Symptoms and Testing
If your child or a member of your household exhibits ANY ONE of the 3 symptoms,
- New persistent cough
- Temperature (37.8 or higher)
- Loss of taste/smell
- Isolate and keep your child at home – do NOT send them to school.
- inform firstname.lastname@example.org
- contact NHS119 to arrange a test or refer via the website
- inform us immediately of the result
Testing is currently ONLY available for the person with the symptoms, but the whole household should isolate until the test result comes back.
The testing centres are experiencing extremely high volumes of requests but with persistence, people are getting through. If you struggle to arrange a test, there is a priority system for schools which we can help you to access. As a final resort, we do have a small number of home-testing kits available for students and staff which will return a result more quickly than ordering one online.
Please note that all home-testing kits require posting which delays the time taken to obtain a result so we would advise parents to access a testing centre wherever possible.
Blended Learning Option
A reminder that our blended learning option is still available for parents to opt into (or out of) at any time. Full details are available on our website.
Once again, we do appreciate that over the last few weeks you will have received a large amount of information. We will endeavour to keep you updated with essential changes via email/letter whilst providing all other Covid19 related information and FAQs in one easy to access location on our website. In the meantime, should you have any questions or queries, please use the contact us section of the website. Thank you again for your ongoing support.
Mrs Emmie Seward-Adams